One of the most challenging aspects of being a single mom is maintaining a good relationship with the father of your children. When a relationship ends between two people there is a period of adjustment, which can be a difficult and painful transition for the whole family. Through the grace of God and prayer eventually both the parents and children will become comfortable with their newly structured family situation. Inevitably you will hit a snag. That snag can be mended or it can unravel and make everything fall apart. The choice is yours. When disagreements occur, I urge you to refer back to Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”
I hit one of those snags not long ago. What began as a typical conversation with my daughter’s father soon turned into an ugly argument. I found a comment he made offensive, my buttons were pushed and unfortunately, I reacted. Lo and behold, the conversation took on a life of its’ own. We basically get along, I had decided long ago not to argue with him or say words that I’d later regret. After all, we had wonderful memories and a beautiful daughter together. I’m wise enough to realize arguments never lead to anything positive or productive, but that day my smallest member, my tongue took control and wisdom flew out the window. We both hung up feeling angry and misunderstood.
Our separation was painful and we were working hard to make our relationship one of mutual respect and love. After putting my daughter to bed, I realized I needed to call him and apologize, not a flimsy or half-hearted apology, but an honest and genuine apology. Before I made the call, I prayed that God would give me the right words to say to him. When I finally called, we almost apologized simultaneously. The weight of the argument was lifted off both our shoulders, but more importantly I felt right with God.
If you’re a single mom, most likely you are going to have a relationship with the father of your children for the rest of your life. Even if you both remarry, you will always be connected through your children. It is your responsibility to make the best of that relationship. Sure, it takes two, however you are not responsible for their actions. In the eyes of God, you are responsible for your own words and actions. Take the initiative and be the Peacemaker. Even if you’re convinced that you are 100% correct, swallow your pride and be the peacemaker because God is watching your actions. Treat him like Jesus would. Aren’t we supposed to show love and compassion to those we don’t even know? Surely the person that we created a child with also deserves that understanding. Don’t view him as an “Ex-”, he is not someone that you can just “X” out of your life.
It is not easy to turn the other cheek, but God will bless you for it. There are a multitude of emotions that occur in a relationship that is in transition. You will have differences of opinion, and feelings may get hurt, but you can either let that snag unravel your foundation or you can patch it up and make it stronger. You are a child of God, therefore it is your duty to be a peacemaker and not cause strife, or spew harsh criticisms. Scripture instructs us to love one another and do as Jesus did.
It is imperative that we set the best example we possibly can for our children. We are responsible for modeling godly behavior. Do you want them to see mom and dad at each other’s throat? Worse, would you want them to emulate that behavior in their own relationships in the future? Everything we do as parents affects our children. When we’re arguing and holding grudges we are not showing mercy. Mercy is exactly what God wants us to give to one another as stated in Luke 6:36 May my children always “be merciful, as their Father is merciful. Children need to observe their parents treating one another with kindness and compassion.
Although the family dynamics have changed, let your children know through your actions that they are still part of a unit that works together. We all want the best for our children regardless if we are single, divorced, or married parents. What better way to give them the best than by showing them through the virtues of patience, kindness, and compassion.
Here are a few suggestions to try before a disagreement begins:
1.Pray, Pray, and Pray- First and foremost look to God for guidance. If you have a contemptuous relationship and arguments begin with hello, pray first. Before you even speak with him, ask God to give you the right words to say.
2.Choose your words carefully- Before speaking, think about what you are saying, how you are saying it, and what you want to express. Remember the tongue is the smallest member, but can cause the most damage.
3.Walk Away- If an argument ensues, walk away. Heated discussions never resolve the issue. Once you have some distance from the situation you will have a better attitude. The initial anger will dissolve and you are more likely to reach an agreement.
4.Remember he is a child of God- When you remember that he is created by our holy creator, your heart will soften which makes it difficult to be confrontational or angry.
5.Seek Counseling-Have the whole family participate in counseling with your church clergy, or a licensed family therapist.
I slept better that night knowing that I sincerely apologized and asked for God’s forgiveness. It is much easier to be a peacemaker than harbor anger and resentment. Let’s walk in the footsteps of Jesus, loving those around us, offering a kind word, and being compassionate.